Business Opportunity Forum for Transportation Referendum Projects

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. in conjunction with the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, the Atlanta Business League, and the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, the Greater Women’s Business Council and the Greater Atlanta Economic Alliance hosted two Business Opportunity Forums on February 29 and March 6. The Forums were for design and construction professionals to inform them of contracting opportunities that will arise should the Transportation Referendum pass this summer. Majority and minority firms were invited to participate and more than 200 people representing local, national and international firms attended over the course of both days. The forums were held at AGL Resources.

Douglas Hooker gave a presentation on the transportation referendum
Douglas Hooker, Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission, gave a presentation on the transportation referendum.

Doug Hooker, Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission, provided an overview of the project list in the Atlanta Region, which includes 157 projects. If passed, the Referendum is expected to generate $8.5 billion over 10 years to fund these projects.

Standing room only at the business forum
The Forum ended up with standing room only after filling all available seats.

Nate Conable, Director of Transit and Transportation for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. provided an overview of the City of Atlanta Transit Initiatives on the project list, which include the Atlanta BeltLine and Atlanta Streetcar network.

Networking at the Business Opportunity Forum
One of the goals of the Forum was to introduce businesses to each other who might be able to collaborate on future projects.

A panel featuring representatives from the City of Atlanta, Fulton County and MARTA provided information on DBE certification and procurement for their respective jurisdictions. The panelists were Hubert Owens, Director, Mayor’s Office of Contract Compliance from the City of Atlanta, Felicia Strong-Whitaker, Deputy Director, Purchasing & Contract Compliance at Fulton County, and Reginald Diamond, Executive Director, Office of Diversity & Equal Opportunity at MARTA.

Felicia Strong-Whitaker of Fulton County and Reginald Diamond of MARTA
Felicia Strong-Whitaker of Fulton County and Reginald Diamond of MARTA gave detailed information on how businesses should approach bidding on Transportation Referendum projects

In addition to providing critical information about the various potential projects, the Forum also served as a networking event for small and minority firms to form relationships with large design and construction firms who might be able to team up to bid on the various opportunities the Referendum could present. In all, 10 of major design firms attended and 13 large construction firms attended.

Atlanta business leaders introduced themselves
Atlanta business leaders went around the room and introduced themselves to further networking efforts.

You can view more photos from the Business Opportunity Forum on the Atlanta BeltLine flickr stream. This event was made possible through the creativity and dedication of Patrise Perkins-Hooker (Vice-President and General Council), Valinda Johnson (Paralegal), Beth McMillian (Director of Community Engagement), and Lynnette Reid (Community Engagement Advocate) of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

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